At Sanku-Project Healthy Children, we address malnutrition in rural and remote areas of East Africa. These populations subsist on staples with low nutritive value and do not normally have access to fortified foods. This “hidden hunger” is particulary dangerous for children: Micronutrient deficiency compromises the immune system of over 40% of the children in the developing world; it increases their chances of dying from curable diseases like measles, malaria, and diarrhea by about 35%. Despite the increasing adoption of large-scale fortification programs as a means of addressing micronutrient malnutrition throughout the developing world, the majority of individuals living in rural and remote areas do not have access to centrally processed foods, and thus are denied the benefits of large-scale food fortification. In these regions, a large percentage of consumers, 50% and reaching up to as high as 95% in some countries, depend on small rural flour mills to process staple foods.
Small-scale fortification is therefore the solution, and Sanku-PHC developed an innovative technology and business model for providing it. Our dosifier device, developed in partnership with Stanford University, Oracle Corporation and Vodafone, attaches seamlessly to the existing mills, requiring minimal training and no additional steps by the producer. It has been designed as a “one-size-fits-all”, meaning it is compatible with the hundreds of thousands of small rural mills found throughout Africa. Through our partnership with Vodafone and a gift-in-kind donation from Oracle Corporation, the devices communicate to the cloud, giving us the ability to scale operationally and reach 100 million people. Equally important, we have created a scalable and sustainable business model that fortifies food at a price less than what was considered best practice among larger mills.
In recognition of our work, Sanku-PHC is proud to have received a number of prestigious awards over the past 6 months:
2018 IoT Evolution Product of the Year Award Winner: The award honors the best, most innovative products and solutions powering the Internet of Things.
2018 Fierce Innovation Award Winner: these awards are designed to showcase outstanding service and equipment developments unveiled during the past 12 months along with those who make them, install them and deploy them. With over 100 award submissions, our elite panel of judges scored the submissions on ease of use/ROI, effectiveness, technical innovation, competitive advantage, financial impact and true innovation.
2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize Winner: The Zayed Sustainability Prize, an evolution of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, is the UAE’s pioneering global award in sustainability and a tribute to the legacy of the late founding father of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Established in 2008, this annual award recognises and rewards the achievements of those who are driving impactful, innovative and inspiring sustainability solutions across five distinct categories: Health, Food, Energy, Water and Global High Schools.
2019 Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list: Fast Company has just announced it’s prestigious 2019 list, which includes the most notable global innovations of the year, linking them with the impact they have on business, industry, and culture. Fast Company has distinguished Sanku for our use of game-changing technology to combat malnutrition, improving the lives of over one million people. Highlighted is Sanku’s partnership with Vodafone, already bringing the Internet of Things to 200 remote flour mills (and soon 3000) across Tanzania, enabling them to sustainably add lifesaving nutrients to the food millions of people eat everyday. We join an impressive group of 2019 selectees, including Alibaba, Apple, Rocket Lab, and African Leadership University.
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies alone cost Tanzania about $390 million in lost revenue each year. 42% of all Tanzanian children under the age of five are stunted, 69% are anemic, leading to an average loss of 13.5 IQ points and 130 child deaths every day. That’s over 5 children an hour, but because of Sanku-PHC’s fortification program, these same children will now have access to the key nutrients to live healthier lives. Our aim is to guarantee that every meal, consumed by every mother and child, contains lifesaving nutrients, forever
You can learn more about Sanku-PHC here and support their work here.